Think about the ideal version of yourself. Who is that person? What career do they have? What is their day-to-day activities like?
Lots of people make New Year’s Resolutions, but why? It’s good to start fresh sometimes and give yourself purpose and meaning, but often times those “resolutions” are dumped by February. So instead of making a to-do list, make yourself a to-be list and push yourself to develop manageable lifestyle changes. No matter your goals, we want to help you start out right. So here are some tips to help you make this your best year yet!
1. Set a few goals and then think about why you haven’t achieved them yet.
Most of us get in the habit of making a goal and then working on it for anywhere from 1 week to a few months before it falls by the wayside. So instead of just repeating the same goal, think about the objective and the outcome of that goal and why it’s important enough to have made the list. Then consider why you weren’t able to keep up with it before. For example, maybe you want to keep your house neater this year. Why don’t you? Perhaps you want to decorate your home in a particular way that doesn’t match with your habits. While the Pinterest decor photos are alluring, they often don’t meet the practical standards of living. So to keep your home more organized, perhaps you need to just have a hamper in the bathroom, or put a trash can near your couch. Accept who you are and work around your habits so that way you can implement a technique that seamlessly integrates your goals into your life. Then you have achieved a goal easily that you can maintain and made it a fairly painless process.
2. Be realistic and go easy on yourself.
When I consider the ideal version of myself, I realize that this person is not someone I could be tomorrow. That being said, if this person has paid off all loans/debts, sets aside funds to a savings account from every paycheck, takes long weekend excursions once and month and gets their clothes dry cleaned regularly, that may suggest a wide array of changes to your lifestyle if you don’t do any of those things already. I have classically burned myself on trying to go hard at my resolutions in previous years in the realm of working out and getting healthy. I would start out with a 90 minute routine that I tried to do 5 days a week after not working out for 4 months. I burned out and felt so overwhelmed so fast that I didn’t last 2 weeks. So going back to the first point, because I did not allow myself flexibility (especially as an event planner whose job fluctuates) I did not think about why this goal didn’t work out. Now I know that my goal is to be healthy in a way that I can maintain for my whole life, so I’m going to aim to eat a salad for lunch or dinner at least 3 times a week and work out for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. Is that celebrity level fitness? Hell no. Is it better than getting home with fast food and laying on the couch watching TV? Obviously.
3. Incorporate someone else if you can.
Oh competition and guilt. How much we achieve through those 2 feelings! And if not competition or guilt, think of it as accountability. But do you really want Sandra to [save more money, go on a better vacation, lose more weight] than you? I didn’t think so.
4. Set up a reward system for yourself.
Make your goals SMALL and then reward yourself when you reach them. Did you manage to see your family twice a month for dinner for 3 months in a row? Treat yourself to a spa day with your friends. Did you finally work on your writing or art consistently once a week for 12 weeks? Buy that leather jacket you’ve been eyeing. Whatever it is you want to do, make sure you give yourself as much encouragement as you can to make that goal. I mean, you do go to work to get that paycheck don’t you? Never devalue the greatness of reward!
5. Make sure your goals have a positive focus.
It takes at least 3 compliments to negate 1 bad comment and the whole point of this it to get yourself to a place where you feel better about who you are. Make sure your goals are positive in nature and don’t trash talk yourself. If you want to lose weight, don’t look in the mirror and go “Alright fat ass, get to the gym.” Look in the mirror and say “I’m totally going to wear that sexy costume for Halloween this year!” Motivate yourself with positivity AND be as positive towards others and their goals as well. Focusing your mindset on positive thoughts and being nice to others makes it easier to be nice to yourself and do well. Also, Karma is a bitch so get your shit together and be nice to yourself.
Article by Jessica Dalka for Chicago Planner Magazine – January 2017